Diversity of Oil-Degrading Microorganisms in the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea) in Spring and in Summer
Diversity of the oil-degrading microbial strains isolated from the water and sediments of the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea) in winter and in summer was studied. Substrate specificity of the isolates for aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons was studied. The isolates belonged to 32 genera of the types Proteobacteria (alpha-, beta-, and gammaproteobacteria), Actinobacteria,Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes. Seasonal variations of the oil-degrading microbial communities was revealed. The presence of the known genes responsible for the degradation of oil aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons was determined. The alkB sequence of the alkane hydroxylase gene was found in ~16% of the studied strains. The sequence of the phnAc phenanthrene 3,4- dioxygenase was found in Sphingobacterium sp. and Arthrobacter sp. isolates retrieved in winter and summer. In five Pseudomonas sp. strains from winter samples, the classical operons of naphthalene degradation (nah) were localized in catabolic plasmids, of which three belonged to IncР-9, one, to IncР-7, and two to an unidentified incompatibility group. Burkholderia and Delftia strains contained the operons for naphthalene degradation via salicylate and gentisate (nag). The presence of nag genes has not been previously reported for Delftia spp. strains. The sequences of the nagG salicylate 5-hydroxylase gene were also found in Achromobacter, Sphingobacterium, and Stenotrophomonas strains.
KeywordsBaltic Sea biodegradation oil degraders plasmids biodegradation operons salicylate 5-hydroxylase
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